Stories from the Surrounding Area

To the northeast on the backside of Mt. Gerizim, the “Mount of Blessing”, (about a thirty-minute drive from the hotel), is the central meeting place of the Samaritans.

According to a Samaritan tradition, the Samaritans are the “pure Israelites”, part of the people of Israel and those that have preserved the true Israelite traditions. Today’s Samaritans see themselves as the descendants of the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh; the remnant that were not exiled from the Land when the rest of the Ten Tribes of the Kingdom of Israel were exiled to Assyria in 722 BCE.

According to the Biblical account, the king of Assyria exiled the residents of the Northern Kingdom, and his son brought in other peoples to populate the area.

And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from ‘Avva, and from Chamath, and from Sepharvayim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in the room of the children of Israel: and they took possession of Samaria, and dwelt in its cities. (II Kings 17:24 [Leeser])

A half kilometer northwest of the hotel is the Arab village of Kifl Hares, thought to be the burial place of Joshua son of Nun, of Nun (his father) and of Caleb son of Jephuneh referenced in Judges 2.

Then died Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, being one hundred and ten years old. And they buried him on the border of his inheritance in Timnath-cheres, in the mountain of Ephraim, on the north side of Mount Ga’ash. (Judges 2:8-9 [Leeser])

Nearby, about a twenty-minute drive to the southeast is Shiloh, the first capital of Israel, for about 369 years before Jerusalem became the capital. Here stood the Tabernacle, with the Ark of the Covenant, where the high priest officiated .

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up there the tabernacle of the congregation.... (Joshua 18:1 [Leeser])

Not far from us to the northeast (about a 30 minute drive) is Elon Moreh, the “Mount of Abraham”, the place where this land was promised to Abraham.

And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the plain of Moreh; ... And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.... (Genesis 12:6-7 [Leeser])